Best Facts of the Month - Page 8

In Harry Potter, no one believes Prof. Trelawney's predictions. The reason has to do with Greek Mythology!

In the Harry Potter books, Sybill Trelawney is a teacher of Divination at Hogwarts. Divination is to tell the future, but everyone thinks she is a fraud. While she makes some erroneous predictions (usually about a student dying), she can make accurate predictions when she goes into a trance.

However, there is a historical reason for why everyone thinks she's a fraud and it has to do with Greek Mythology. In the 5th Harry Potter book, it's said that Prof. Trelawney is the descendant of the great seer Cassandra Trelawney. While it might seem like a throwaway line, it probably refers to the Greek prophet Cassandra.

In the Greek story, the god Apollo fell in love with Cassandra and gave her the gift of prophecy. He then tried to put the moves on her and she rebuked him. He got angry and instead of taking the gift back, he cursed her: nobody would believe her predictions or the predictions of her descendants.


There is a town in Nebraska with a population of 1!

Czech immigrants looking to have their own version of the American Dream founded Monowi, Nebraska 1902. Today, what was once a robust town has dwindled down to just one person, 72-year-old Elsie Eiler.

Eiler is the last resident of Monowi. As such, she is also the mayor. And she takes her duties seriously. Ever year, she raises taxes from herself to keep Monowi’s four streetlights lit and a few other basic amenities running.

She also runs the town’s only business, the Monowi Tavern and lives in the last remaining habitable building. She grants herself a liquor license each year so she can keep the bar running and serves customers that come off the highway that runs through Monowi.


The fruit was called orange before the color!

It's sort of a chicken-and-egg question. What came first? the fruit or the color orange? Well all evidence points to the fruit. The word orange appears in the English language as early as the 13th century, but refering to the fruit. The earliest reference to orange as a color is found in the 16th century.

The color orange was previously called geoluhread, which just meant yellow-red. Geoluhread comes from Old English or Middle English. Orange is said to have no true rhyme, and many funny poems have been inspired and written about it. The word, however, does have half-rhymes or near rhymes and some proper nouns that rhyme with it.


Some awesome lists!

An Arabic scholar theorized evolution and natural selection 1000 years before Darwin!

Most of the world knows Charles Darwin as the father of the theory of evolution. There was, however, someone who thought about it long before him. Al-Jahiz was an Arabic scholar. He was born in Basra in 776 and later, frequently traveled to Samarra and Baghdad to study literary and scientific works.

After extensive work with animals, Al-Jahiz put forward a theory on biological evolution. He recognized the environmental effects on animal life and also the way species changed under different factors.

Al-Jahiz also identified natural selection, or the evolution of a species according to which members actually survive to reproduce. Sounds like he would have given Darwin a run for his money.


Dave Canterbury from Duel Survivor was fired from the show after it was found out he’d completely lied about his military/survival experience!

In September 2011, Dave Canterbury was fired as the host of the Duel Survivor TV show on Discovery Channel. Canterbury had originally said it was for family and business reasons that he decided to leave the show in a statement in April 2012. Actually, it was finally released that he’d lied about his military and survival experience that landed him the job. He claimed he had survival expertise for 20 years before getting the job on Duel Survivor.

Records showed that he was a factory worker in Ohio up until the year before he got the job with Discovery Channel. He had been in the military in their version of a SWAT team in the Army for six years. He was never a Ranger, Survival Scout, or had any Airborne Training as he had claimed. Neither had he been to Grenada or South America as he had claimed. He’d only been to Korea as an “ID Badge Clerk.



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